This book is an up-to-date examination of the major works of some of the Russian writers who have come to prominence since 1985 when Gorbachev rose to power and effectively abolished all literary controls. The title of the book is taken from articles in the Soviet/Russian literary press that sought to address this new and often outrageous type of literature. The author contends that 'alternative prose' in Russia deserves serious critical attention, and that in discarding the 'civic mindedness' of a former era, it is aligning itself more with Western literature and is re-discovering pre-Stalinist literary trends.
'This book is both scholarly and entertaining - an all too rare combination in Russian studies in the 1990s. Robert Porter made me want to read or re-read nearly all the works he discusses. Surely this should be the main aim of every literary critic? But how rarely it is achieved!' Martin Dewhirst, Department of Slavonic Languages and Literatures, University of Glasgow 'Porter is to be congratulated on a bold and, as used to be said in Soviet times, necessary enterprise. His book helps to make sense of a confusing period of literature, and deserves to be on every library shelf.' The Slavonic Review "... information is provided with most enjoyable ease. (It is, frankly, a damn good read.)" Irish Slavonic Studies "The strengths of this book lie in the author's presentation of the most significant new school of Russian prose fiction to appear after the onset of glasnost. Porter has made a close study, not only of the key novels and stories, but also of Russian and western analyses, and he has identified the salient device of "intertextuality", that is, the tendency of these texts to quote other texts, generally to parodic effect. There is definitely a need for monographs on important literary movements, and Porter's informed - but informal - analytic voice makes Russia's Alternative Prose both useful and pleasant to read." Slavic Review